Emperor prescribed rest
Emperor Akihito, 84, was advised to rest after feeling nauseous and dizzy early yesterday and canceled or postponed his duties. The Imperial Household Agency said Empress Michiko called the palace doctor early in the morning after finding Akihito sweating profusely. It said his symptoms were caused by cerebral anemia or an insufficient flow of blood to the brain, and the doctor was continuing to monitor his situation.
Manhunt on for escapee
The government yesterday pointed to possible security failings as a manhunt continued for a notorious gangster who used a helicopter to make his second prison break of his career. Redoine Faid was sprung from a prison in Paris on Sunday by two armed accomplices who had hijacked a helicopter from a flight school. The pair forced the instructor to take them to the prison, where they set off smoke bombs before using power tools to break into the visiting room, where Faid was talking to his brother. The helicopter was later found about 60km from the prison, with the pilot, who had been beaten, in a state of shock.
Protests over pension plan
Opponents of the government’s proposal to raise the eligibility ages for pensions held demonstrations throughout the country on Sunday. The Cabinet sent parliament a proposal last month to gradually bring the pension age for men from 60 to 65 and to increase it from 55 to 63 for women. The average pension is 14,000 rubles (US$230) a month.
‘FART’ act reportedly mulled
A report that President Donald Trump is looking to walk away from the WTO and instead adopt a “Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act” (FART) has been greeted with loud amusement on Twitter. Axios reported that it had received a leaked early draft of a bill ordered by Trump, which would see the government take the unlikely step of abandoning WTO rules, allowing him to raise tariffs without the consent of Congress. The bill — the existence of which has not been independently confirmed — would be a dramatic shift in trade policy with wide-reaching impacts, but it was the name of the proposed bill that caught people’s attention. There were debates about whether the name of the act was intentional, while Internet users responded with jokes, memes and even poetry.
Trump used as drug brand
Some drug traffickers appear to be using Trump’s image to brand their illegal wares. An Indiana State Police news release about 129 arrests in a series of drug busts includes a photograph of what police describe as “Trump-shaped ecstasy pills.” They are orange and stamped with a face. On the back are the words “great again,” an apparent reference to Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
‘Cats’ choreographer dies
Choreographer Gillian Lynne, who was best known for her work on the long-running musicals Cats and Phantom of the Opera, died on Sunday at age 92, her husband said. “She leaves behind a huge legacy & is adored by many,” her husband, actor Peter Land, said on Twitter, paying tribute to his “dearest wife & friend & love for 40 years.” She choreographed more than 50 productions on the West End and Broadway and was the recipient of two Olivier Awards.
French authorities yesterday said that they would close a Paris mosque as part of a clampdown on radical Islam that has yielded over a dozen arrests following the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. The mosque in a densely populated suburb northeast of Paris had disseminated a video on its Facebook page days before Friday’s gruesome murder, railing against teacher Samuel Paty’s choice of material for a class discussion on freedom of expression, a source close to the investigation said. The French Ministry of the Interior said the mosque in Pantin, which has
LONGSTANDING NEUTRALITY: The US request came as it vied for influence in Southeast Asia with China, but Indonesia has never let foreign militaries operate there Indonesia this year rejected a proposal by the US to allow its P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance planes to land and refuel there, four senior Indonesian officials familiar with the matter have said. US officials made multiple “high-level” approaches in July and August to Indonesia’s defense and foreign ministers before Indonesian President Joko Widodo rebuffed the request, the officials said. Representatives for Indonesia’s president and defense minister, the US Department of State’s Office of Press Relations and the US embassy in Jakarta did not respond to requests for comment. Representatives for the US Department of Defense and Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said that he has no problem with being held responsible for the many killings under his crackdown on drugs, and that he is ready to face charges that could land him in jail, but not charges of crimes against humanity. Duterte’s televised remarks were among his clearest acknowledgement of the prospects that he could face a deluge of criminal charges for the bloody campaign he launched after taking office in the middle of 2016. Police have reported that at least 5,856 drug suspects have been killed in raids and more than 256,000 others arrested since
WEIGHING THE RISKS: One biogeochemist said that the known risks of disease from not sterilizing baby bottles outweighed that of microplastics Bottle-fed babies might ingest more than 1 million pieces of microplastics each day, new research showed on Monday, highlighting the abundance of plastics in our food products. There is growing evidence that humans consume huge numbers of the tiny particles, formed when larger pieces of plastic break down, but very little is known about the knock-on health consequences. Researchers in Ireland looked at the rate of microplastic release in 10 types of baby bottles or accessories made from polypropylene, the most commonly used plastic for food containers. They followed official guidelines from the WHO on sterilization and formula preparation conditions. Over a 21-day